Arthritis is a condition caused by the breakdown of cartilage in our joints and is the most common type of joint disease experienced globally. The symptoms of this disease are often unpleasant and painful and include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and enlarged joints. This disorder can also be caused by injury, infection and genetic or autoimmune causes. This disease primarily affects individuals over the age of 55, however lifestyle factors such as occupation, may increase the risk of developing this disease. For example, working a job where you have to hold heavy materials may increase the risk of arthritis as it will wear down your joints more. Although arthritis can occur in any joint it is most commonly found to occur in the spine, hips, knees and hands – which makes sense as these are the joints, we use the most. As arthritis is caused by the general wear and tear of our joints overtime, it can happen to anyone.
The goal of physiotherapy for arthritis is not only to improve the general well-being of patients but also to improve their range of motion, prevent further injury, improve pain and reduce swelling. Arthritis symptoms experienced by patients can range from mild to severe and often come and go. However, symptoms can often worsen over time and as such physiotherapy can be especially useful to prevent the progression of this disease. Untreated arthritis can become debilitating and unfortunately even with the use of modern medicine it can still progress. Not only could physiotherapy help prevent the progression of mild arthritis to disability, but it also helps patients get a better overall understanding of their bodies which is vital to managing arthritis symptoms. Of course, if you suspect you have arthritis it is always important to consult with a medical doctor to ensure the symptoms aren’t caused by anything else. However, physiotherapy as a treatment has really no negative side-effects so it cannot hurt to try. Furthermore, it is important to find a licensed physiotherapist as there are several different treatment options for different types of arthritis and a physiotherapist can make you a detailed treatment plan for your own individual needs. If you are not experiencing arthritis but work a job that puts you at risk for arthritis or have a genetic susceptibility to arthritis, you can also attend physiotherapy to prevent the disease or at least delay its onset.
To summarize, arthritis is a very common condition caused by the deterioration of cartilage in our joints. This disease often has unpleasant symptoms that affect the mobility and daily functions of individuals inflicted with the disease. Physiotherapy can be used as a treatment to prevent arthritis and manage the symptoms of arthritis. As arthritis often becomes worse over time, physiotherapy can also be used to slow down or stop the progression of arthritis. Before receiving any treatments, always consult with a medical doctor and then find a licensed physical therapist. Unique treatment plans are often created to target specific types of arthritis and to alleviate specific symptoms experienced by the patient.